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November 9, 2017

Accounting major did the math: 4 weeks = 3 credits

Echo Tyler had every reason to take a break between fall and spring semesters. She had the holidays to celebrate, a 3-year-old daughter to look after and a job that demanded her attention.

She decided to enroll in Johnson County Community College’s winter session anyway.

“I had my eye on the goal. If I could finish three credits in only four weeks, I was that much closer to finishing my degree,” she said.

Why she was driven to succeed

Tyler began classes at JCCC after her daughter’s first birthday. “I tell her, ‘You being in my life is what pushed me to go back to school, to do something with my life, so you can have a better future.’”

In a previous job, Tyler helped people fill out financial aid applications, which opened up a world of possibilities with numbers. She chose accounting as a career and began marching toward an Associate of Applied Science degree.

In JCCC’s pilot year for winter session, she enrolled in an economics class.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I came home from work, did school work until midnight and then went to bed,” she said. “I had something due Christmas Eve day, but not Christmas, and something due New Year’s Eve day, but not New Year’s Day. I kind of like how they did that.”

In praise of online classes

Giving up her “break” wasn’t nearly as important to her as other factors: earning that degree, doing her homework when it was convenient for her schedule, not worrying about scheduling daycare while she sat in class.

“I love the fact that JCCC offers online classes,” Tyler said. “I’ve done most of my coursework that way, just coming to campus once or twice a month for exams. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been in a ‘regular’ classroom.”

As an online-class veteran, Tyler said she knew her winter-session economics class would have more work than a traditional face-to-face class. For her, though, it fit her needs. She could study at her own pace, repeat parts of a lesson she didn’t understand and, as a last resort, do an internet search for terms or concepts to supplement her learning.

“I’m one of those people who, when I’m learning something, it might take me a little bit longer to get it, but when I do, I excel,” she said. “In online classes, if I don’t understand it, I don’t stop the whole class.”

‘I’d do it again’

The best testimonial for taking a winter-session class is that Tyler would do it again in a heartbeat if she could find the right class. “I looked for that option again this year," she said.

Tyler is currently working in the accounts payable department at Huhtamaki in De Soto. She was hired in March 2017 in part because her completed classes at JCCC helped her qualify for the job. Her daughter is now in kindergarten, and she’s planning to enroll in more JCCC classes to finish that degree.

Her advice to students considering winter session? “If you are disciplined and you’re willing to do it, it can be done,” she said.

Enroll now!

Check online for available classes.